Posted at 5:00 am
The boys are now hanging out together. A situation that will change as their interest in the girls makes a quantum leap in the next couple of months. This buck’s antlers were still covered in velvet and growing when we left on our road trip in June. Now they are ready to do battle to win true love, or at least a quickie.
Since I am still working on my next post on the 1908 Great Race, I decided to throw in a quick update on life here on Oregon’s Upper Applegate River. First, fall has arrived. Leaves are beginning to turn and the white oaks have produced a bumper acorn crop— a fact that has the deer all but climbing the trees.
The big leaf maple trees growing down in our canyon are adding a splash of yellow.
The plump, white oak acorns here are delicious this year according to squirrels, deer, turkeys, woodpeckers and bears.
The deer start with the acorns that are easy to reach…
And then up they go, standing on their hind legs…
It’s quite a reach.
Meanwhile, the kids have been growing up. The spots are just about gone. This one is all legs.
The birdbath continues to serve as the local watering hole. It’s time to refill!
The bird feeder continues to attack the attention of various and assundry animals. It still hasn’t totally recovered from the time in June when the huge black bear used it for tether ball practice. BTW, we haven’t seen him since our neighbor threw firecrackers at him. He left us some scat, however. BIG scat. But what the heck is this animal? Is that a large mouth?
Turns out it was the hind foot on this fellow!
The forest fires continue to have a major impact on our area. The towns of Phoenix and Talent, which lost approximately 2500 home and businesses, were totally devastated and are still under evacuation orders. While our home was never under a direct threat, the air pollution has been some of the worst in the world. This is what it was like a week ago looking down toward the Applegate River in front of our property, a couple of hundred yards away. Rather than poison our lungs, we decided to escape to Florence on the Oregon coast.
The closer we got, the cleaner the air became. This is the Umqua River. My dad lived near here in the 70s. Rain clouds, not smoke! A welcome sight.
A creek along the way. Driving to and from the coast is almost as good as being there.
Even the elk seemed happy to be breathing clean air. This herd can almost always be found along Highway 38 near Reedsport.
Florence is one of our go-to places on the Oregon Coast. We like to stay at the Siuslaw Marina campground because it is an easy walk into its historic town. It was packed with RVs, a sign of the times. This is at the Marina where the Brandy was selling freshly caught tuna off the boat at $3.00 each. Fog was rolling in.
There are always seals to amuse us. This one was tracking through the water like an arrow shot from a bow. The old pilings from days gone-by add a touch of mystery.
Some of the pilings even came with character. Looks a bit like Wile-e-Coyote.
Possibly a giraffe with a furry tail.
Here the pilings provide foreground for Florence’s iconic bridge.
This one provides a convenient location for a cormorant to dry its wings. A sand dune provides the backdrop. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area starts just south of Florence.
Florence has a considerable amount of art for a small town. Most of it reflects local sea life, like this octopus…
This great blue heron…
And this seal.
Peggy and I were impressed with the fact that most people, and this pirate, were wearing Covid-19 masks. (iPhone photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
The Marina has an attractive walkway complete with lamps and hanging baskets leading into the town. After five days of breathing clean air, it was time to head home and see what the smoke and fires were doing.
I’m happy to report that the smoke had cleared out. Some. Compare this picture looking down on the cottonwoods growing along the Applegate River to the same photo above.
A final view of our big leaf maples turning a fall-ish color. Looking beyond the maple, you can still see the smoke hanging in our valley. We aren’t out of the woods yet, so to speak.
NEXT POST: We will rejoin the Great Automobile Race of 1908 as it makes its way to San Francisco.